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Bioinformatics Postdoc to lead research in Immunology, Infectious Diseases and Systems Biology

9420 Athena Cir, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA Req #124
Friday, June 26, 2020

The Peters lab at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) is looking for a bioinformatician to join our NIH-funded efforts in profiling immune system responses in infectious diseases, such as M. tuberculosis, B. Pertussis and SARS-CoV-2. Qualified applicants will have multiple opportunities to collaborate with our interdisciplinary team of experimental and computational scientists working towards understanding, preventing and curing infectious diseases. The Postdoctoral Fellowship position is expected to be filled by candidates holding a PhD degree looking for advanced training positions, and will typically be for a period of 2-5 years.

Applicants are encouraged to indicate one or more potential matches to specific research areas noted above in their application, but there is also the possibility to create custom positions for applicants that do not match the specifics here but have outstanding skills in at least two of the following areas:

  • Experimental data analysis (RNA-Seq, flow/mass cytometry, single cell analysis)
  • Immunology (adaptive immunity and epitope recognition)
  • Data analysis techniques (statistics, data visualization, machine learning)
  • Software development (programming in Python preferred, or proficiency in other programming languages; Unix Shell; version control)
  • Knowledge representation (database systems, RDF/OWL, OBO ontologies)

How to apply: Interested candidates must include a cover letter describing why they are interested in this position. Applications without a cover letter included will not be reviewed. 

Background: TB

Almost 2 billion individuals are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). Despite the relative low lifetime risk of latently infected individuals developing active disease (~5-15%) it has been estimated that 80% of new cases of TB are due to reactivation of latent disease. To meet World Health Organization's (WHO) goals of TB eradication by 2035 the massive reservoir of TB infection must be addressed. Our long-term goal is to develop an efficient diagnostic test that can predict which individuals are likely to progress to active TB.


Background: Pertussis

In the mid-1990s, concerns over vaccine-related side effects prompted the widespread replacement of the whole-cell Pertussis (wP) vaccine in favor of a safer acellular Pertussis (aP) vaccine. Recent years witnessed a worldwide reemergence of Pertussis (whooping cough) despite widespread vaccination. Our approach is to compare individuals born before 1995 and vaccinated in infancy with wP, with individuals born in 1996 or later and vaccinated with aP in infancy, thus directly studying the population and age group in which the increased disease incidence is noted. Our long-term goal is to identify the cascade of immune events following Pertussis booster vaccination, and to identify correlates of long-lasting vaccine-induced immunity.

Background: COVID-19

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that commonly causes cold- and flu-like symptoms. It is present throughout the world, though outbreaks of new strains have occurred in the recent past. Since late 2019, a new strain has been identified as part of an outbreak in Hubei Province, China (“2019-novel coronavirus” or “SARS-CoV-2”). As more and more people become infected with this new strain of the virus, it is important to understand as much as we can about how this strain of the virus affects the human immune system.

Other details

  • Job Function PHD
  • Pay Type Salary
  • 9420 Athena Cir, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA